As marketers, we understand how important content marketing is as well as how critical it is to get the C-suite on the same page.
As marketers, we’re used to getting customers to do what we want through content.
We also understand the metrics by which we can measure that content’s success.
This makes it easy for us to identify when our content campaigns have paid off, even when they haven’t resulted in direct, monetary ROI.
Communicating those successes to the guys up top isn’t always so straightforward.
That wouldn’t be a problem if the ones “up top” weren’t the ones responsible for determining the resources we’re able to invest in content.
Unfortunately if they don’t understand what we do and more importantly, how it benefits the company, we could be saying “goodbye” to our content budget.
This means communication is key. Want to know more? Then let’s talk about how you can effectively communicate your content marketing wins to the C-suite.
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Keep It Simple
One of the easiest mistakes to make when talking to executives about content marketing is assuming they possess a similar level of knowledge to you. While there’s a good chance they can make sense of some of the language you use day-to-day, they’re not content marketers.
It’s not their job to understand the value of a link or how a well-written, detailed, and properly optimized article can drive steady, targeted traffic over time, even if it’s fallen flat for now.
It’s your job to communicate that to them using a language they can understand. This means avoiding industry terminology and using phrases and examples that are understood in the wider world.
Most people who’ve used a search engine will understand the concept of keywords and how a page’s position in the search results for a given keyword will affect the volume of visitors it receives.
If you can steer your execs away from thinking where their site sits in Google determines the be-all-and-end-all of the company’s success online, this is a great place to start illustrating your wins.
Content that’s performed well should rank in the SERPs for a variety of long-tail search terms. Begin communicating your wins by showing examples of that content appearing on the first page of Google’s search results.
If your content gets your brand featured on a big site, you should be shouting about it - a popular site is talking about you, and that’s a big deal. It’s also something the c-suite can easily understand - especially when the site that’s featured you is a site that they know well.
If they want to know more, the value of a link, for instance, that’s fine. Just start with the simple stuff, the fact your brand’s name is in prime place on a big site.
Bonus tip: find out how much a publication charges for a link or editorial slot on their site and use these figures to calculate the value of your links or mentions.
A link on a big site brings more than prestige and does more than send PageRank, it brings traffic, too. This is an easy metric to communicate to the c-suite because your Google Analytics referrals section will tell you precisely which sites have sent visitors your way, how many, and (to an extent) what those visitors did next.
The strength of this metric will be impacted somewhat by the relevance of the site that’s sending traffic. The closer the audience of a site aligns with your own, the better you can expect the referral traffic to perform. You might, then, want to save this example for demonstrating the wins that result from a highly-targeted guest post than say, a loosely related infographic.
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Unless you’re marketing an E-commerce store, it’s safe to say that your executives care about leads and will be pleased to see that your content is successful in generating them. The easiest way to do this is to use a contact form that’s unique to your marketing content, and track completions using a different Analytics goal to the other contact forms on your site.
What’s even better than a lead? A sale, of course. If you can demonstrate that your content is driving sales and that the value of those sales (either immediately or over the lifetime of the customer) exceeds the company’s spend on content marketing, everyone’s a winner.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine exactly how many sales your content has resulted in. What you can find out (on E-commerce sites, at least) is how many people have landed on your content and gone on to make a purchase (not accounting for any device swapping or cookie clearing action).
To get this information simply go to the landing pages section of your Analytics (Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages), filter the information to find your content, and look at how much revenue it’s generated.
When communicating your content marketing wins to the c-suite it’s important to remember that they have different priorities to you and that you might each have different ideas of what a “win” entails.
This can present a problem, but it’s one that can be overcome with relative ease. The key is in identifying what matters most to your executives and focusing on achievements they can relate to in a jargon-free language they can understand.
What tactics have you used to communicate content marketing wins to your execs?